The freshly rebuilt Surau Abu Hurairah was officially inaugurated today by Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (Bank Islam or the Bank) in Malaysia’s National Zoo (Zoo Negara).
This surau construction project was completed with the collaboration of the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF), the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), and the Malaysian Zoological Society. The project’s goal was to provide a fully equipped, comfortable, and easily accessible place of worship for the visitors and staff of Zoo Negara. Construction works began on 16 January and completed on 16 March 2023. The newly rebuilt surau opened on 29 June, coinciding with the Hari Raya Aidiladha holiday.
The surau was named after a companion of Prophet Muhammad SAW, Abu Hurairah, known for his kindness towards animals. Abu Hurairah was chosen to inspire the community and zoo visitors to emulate his admirable qualities.
The project’s total cost was RM180,000, of which RM151,377.70 was allocated for rebuilding the premises, while the remaining funds were used to enhance its facilities. The rebuilding of the surau was financed by the Bank’s corporate social responsibility funds and donations to Bank Islam’s crowdfunding initiative, Sadaqa House. The initiative showcases the positive impact of Islamic financial instruments, such as charity, waqf, and zakat, in empowering communities and safeguarding the environment.
Bank Islam Group Chief Executive Officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the Bank is honoured to join forces with MINDEF, ATM, and the Malaysian Zoological Society in improving and furnishing the facility at the Zoo Negara for the convenience of its visitors and staff.
“This is important to Bank Islam as Zoo Negara is a major tourist destination and an important wildlife education centre in Malaysia. With nearly 600,000 visitors last year, providing comfortable facilities for visitors is very important. Alhamdulillah, Surau Abu Hurairah is now fully equipped with user-friendly features, including facilities for the elderly and disabled,” he said.
Deputy Secretary General (Management) of MINDEF, Dr. Mohd Bakhari Ismail, said the construction of Surau Abu Hurairah was carried out by 24 members from 91st Support Regiment Royal Engineers Regiment led by Lt Kol Norhejeri Samsudin, Mejar Haziq Abdul Jalal and Lt Al Ismail Ahmad.
“The #JiwaMurni initiative is a secondary responsibility of the ATM in helping the community, especially in the areas of welfare, well-being and education. We are delighted with this collaboration with Bank Islam and Malaysian Zoological Society as it expresses MINDEF and ATM’s empathy and brings us closer to the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Zoological Society President Dato’ Sr. Zaharin Md Arif expresses his confidence that the newly rebuilt surau will provide comfort and convenience to its visitors.
“The surau will indirectly attract more visitors to Zoo Negara, allowing them to experience and learn more about the uniqueness of the various wildlife here. We appreciate the assistance and efforts of Bank Islam, MINDEF, and ATM in this meaningful project,” he said.